tv [untitled] August 31, 2012 9:07pm-9:37pm PDT
of the historic first st. john's methodist church. this approves the eir and the proposal for the project. the recent requirements by staff and a new architect are similar in height and mass. we strongly support efforts to reserve the reuse of the historic buildings. we oppose demolition tactics to win project approval. we believe san francisco mo greatly benefit if historic preservation laws and sepal laws are strictly enforced. -- ceqa laws are strictly enforced. we will never forget what this developer did to the japantown vote. the developer tried to diminish
the cherry blossom festival food fair, which is right by his condos that were built at a site where the japantown residents were being evicted many years ago. that is ridiculous, but it is beside the point. you have an opportunity to preserve this historic building. i urge you to do that, please. thank you. >> a couple more speakers. [reading names] >> good afternoon. i am a member of senior action network.
our board has recently voted to ask you to disapprove the proposed project. i am here to explain our position to you can read parts of our letter. we want to thank you for listening to the residence of the neighborhood. we want a project that incorporates the historical is significant church and as desirable neighborhood amenities, such as a community room, st. setbacks. passing the motion of disapproval is only beginning of what the citizens of san francisco want and need. to spend five years, the city has been challenged with too expensive lawsuits the existing structure has been allowed to deteriorate, a significant cultural artifacts have been vandalized, and now we are discussing ill-conceived proposals that have been concluded and the eir. we are no nearer to an
acceptable outcome. let's go back to the original vision of the methodist church. what they intended was non- profit housing. other examples of such an adaptive reuse, already enhance the city and can serve as models. we know local architects and housing nonprofits who are interested in developing nonprofit senior housing. now is the time to finally do the right thing. please do not negotiate and renegotiate a poor idea. let's give san francisco the housing it needs to be an inclusive city. let's give the neighborhood the amenities and wants and needs. [applause] >> thank you. if i have called your name, you can approach the podium. >> my name is greg wood.
what i think you were not getting is that the church has told the city previously today and today that continued efforts to infringe the churches right to use its property as it has proposed to do it will cost the church substantial hardship. it is likely to deprive the church of the economic return on its property, the reasonable use of its property, or the appropriate use of its property. this is not the commission acting -- this is not just anybody property. this is a religious organizations building. this is a first amendment issue, this is a government code section issue. i urge you to exercise restraint and light of the fact there is a religious
organization on the other side of the table. >> thank you. deborah benedict. >> thank you very much. my name is betty trainer and i am president of the board at senior action network. i am here to also not support the demolition of this housing, but rather to see an alternative project that has been presented by some of the neighbors for affordable senior housing and dislocation. as was mentioned, we have a wonderful model in japantown that used to be a synagogue that was converted into senior housing. as other reports have been presented to the city about the
very large increase in our senior population here in san francisco, we need more and more affordable housing for seniors. this would be a wonderful example of a place that we could use. we have support from the neighborhood and we would like to have this alternative be considered. it would not include the demolition of the property. it would try to maintain the historic architecture. it would allow for some housing for much needed for our seniors. thank you very much. >> linda chapman. i know you do not want my legal device. steve taylor is an attorney who represents churches against cities, like the city of berkeley. he sent his statement about this.
i assume it went to the city attorney. it has to do with whether or not people are allowed churches -- churches are allowed to do their activities at a particular site, not are they able to use the site they do not want for religious activities for some other purpose. anyway, that is not for you to decide. what i want to say, at the previous hearing, you heard from a professional who said what we have to rely on is the planning code. not little negotiations back and forth. i would also like to say that in this case, the whole neighborhood would be out on the subject if they knew about it. the information about this alternative has not been disseminated. one woman i met with last
night, said she has not had any notices of hearings at all. people really do not know very much about this. three people have been downed and only gets redacted files or nothing at all. it does not seem right. you would be hearing from more neighbors. we have the result of signatures on petitions for 150 people opposing the demolition of the church. what i sent you today -- and i know you have not time to read it.
he was a neighbor down the street. i have a long list, which you will receive, of people from other neighborhoods who are supporting our alternative and opposing the demolition of this church. i urge you to go ahead with what you are proposing to do. among the people whose letters you may be did not get --many more who you will see. >> thank you. deborah benedict.
>> i have letters from the older women's league that i would like to have each one of you have. i will put it up here. i am the someone who was previously mentioned. your commissioners, i am writing you in regards to revised condo designed for 1601 larkin street. it calls for demolition of the former st. john's church and building, 27 condos at that location. older women's league of san francisco supports the alternative plan, the senior housing project. it offers an opportunity for older women to age in place in their community, provide badly
needing meeting space to elders and organizations and preserved historic structure in our neighborhood. we support the concept of adaptive reuse of the 1911 first st. john's united methodist church. a restored structure has potential for abuses that could benefit the surrounding community. -- for uses that could benefit the surrounding community. as a russian hill resident, i oppose demolition of the neighborhood resource, especially one that contributes to neighborhood history and ambience. we oppose demolition of neighborhood resources and support an alternative, partial
preservation for reuse as affordable senior housing. san francisco it needs buildings that support community, family, and elders. rather than increasing population density and buildings like the one being proposed. which are too big for their lots and had little value to our community rather than becoming an asset to the city. signed, sincerely, melanie grossman, ph.d., licensed clinical social worker, chair of owl sf. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> i have to speak on a couple of points. i am not against condos because i think we need condos. but we do not need more market rate condos.
and more condos that only did not provide all of the parking that they should. we need more senior housing. i am a member of the aging baby boomers. i am here supporting and other housing thing, but i see this housing on larkin street as a building that will not have affordable housing, it it will be market rate. i got a thing the other day, market rate to the city is $268 for the 1-bedroom unit. $605 for the condo fees. that is not fair, that is not what i am thinking about. what i am thinking about is condos that can be rented by seniors at an affordable rate with their social security and
their pensions and everything else in doubt because of the coming election. this last lady, she said, we need senior housing just for women. isn't that discriminatory? isn't that sexist? there should be men and women, transsexuals and whatever in the city, there should not be an exclusionary sexual place just for women. it's include both men and women. straight and gay and such. that is what i feel, thank you for listening to me. >> thank you. any other public comment on this item?
>> [inaudible] could not have the overhead? >> [inaudible] 1 start talking, it will come up -- once you start talking, it your time is running. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i was running a little late. i want to submit this list of all the signatures for preservation. the last time we heard about this project was 2010. at that time, you did not
approve the project for the first building. i have one copy. i want to report all of my observations. there has been a lot of vandalism to the church. it is right in front of where i live. even if i do not want to see it, i see it. it is disturbing. these two when does right here -- windows were moved to an 15th overnight before the previous hearing. there were boarded up. after that, [inaudible] more windows on the side of there by the trees, on the top floor, there are four windows
and the bottom half has been removed. whenever this happens, i call 3- 1-1 and a route it to dpw and nothing happens. they get the maintenance crew from the owner. they say that it was stolen. it is hard for me to believe that somebody could steel windows, specially under the bell tower, under night. you could fall to your death. there were windows removed even higher than that. goes for, like, at the peak. -- those were, like, at the peak. my time is up? >> i think you have 20 seconds. >> 3 lot of people trying to sell the property across the street. -- there are a lot of people trying to sell the property
across the street. all this extreme blight is horrible for the church, for the real-estate market, for all of the neighbors. the constant homeless problem. it is horrible. >> would you like to offer your name for the record? thank you very much. public comment on this item? the public comment portion is closed. commissioners? commissioner hillis: i was not on the commission for the prior hearing. i did had a chance to review all of the material. i felt comfortable voting on this item. i am supporter of -- supportive of the draft motion. commissioner moore: on june 28, 2012, the planning commission passed a motion to disapprove.
this topic has been exhaustively discussed. we had extensive meetings. nothing has been added. i move to disapprove. >> seconds. commissioner antonini: i would like to set the record straight on some of our earlier discussions. earlier today, it was represented by one speaker that there was a vote for the project. there was no vote for the project. i did vote -- i did not vote for the intent to disapprove. i worked very hard to try to offer a continuance to work out a solution that could craft a building that would be acceptable to the neighborhood. my votes was one that i would hope other commissioners would of also voted against the motion
to disapprove. that did not happen. i still feel this building has come a long way from what we originally saw the first time around in terms of design. the design is much better, a very innovative handling of the combination bay balcony, which i have never seen before. i did advocate for a community room, a gathering space, and one less floor. unfortunately, the offer to bring the building down in size only came that day. it was a little late in the game for the project sponsor. how the project sponsor been working with the neighbors -- had the project sponsor been working with the neighbors, there might of been a possibility to come up with a project that would have been acceptable to the neighbors and
the project sponsor and the methodist church. in its format, it is still too high, in my opinion. it does not step down to the adjacent buildings. everyone who spoke, including a lot of reputable structural engineers, pointed out that trying to retrofit the church other than if the church themselves wanted to have -- one to do it themselves with attention to the cost, this was not going to happen. a lot of people have ideas, but no one has come forth with money. i really feel that ultimately, some projects will occur similar to what has been proposed. project sponsor could have helped himself out and helped everyone out if he had been responsive to the needs of the
neighbors and if he had crafted a project that was lower, as was called for by the commission two years before that. i would also encourage project sponsor, until such time this decision is made on the demolition, that the building should be closed up and perhaps lights should be eliminated at night. get rid of the car, put some security alarms, these are all inexpensive things that could be done. it could improve the quality around the building and with courage -- would discourage homeless encampments. it may end up that it would be decided that the church will be demolished. until that time, project sponsor could help everybody out by doing some things to make a safer environment. i will vote along with a motion today, realizing that it is fruitless to try to propose a
continuance, it is clear that even at this project is disapproved, it could come back within one year -- after one year's time for a conditional use. i would also expect that, although i do not know this for sure, since we have already passed the environmental peace, if the new project had and packs that were equal to or less than the impacts of the one we approved, they would probably not have to go through another environmental approval. that we need to be assessed at that time. i encourage project sponsor to start working with the neighborhood during the next year to see if we can come up with something that is done to satisfy their demands and create a project that will be a benefit to the city. >> commissioners, the motion on the floor is for disapproval. [roll call vote]
the motion passed unanimously. this project has been disapproved. commissioners, you are now on item number 13. this is an informational presentation regarding the proposed charter amendment. the city attorney would like to address you. >> i want to remind the commission that our office has distributed our memo on political activity by a city officers and employees to the commission and his staff. the proposed charter amendment on the agenda is a ballot measure that has been approved for the ballot by the board of supervisors. it is pending before the voters. the discussion of the dead --
the charter amendment is an informational item only. in the use of city resources or personnel for political activity is prohibited. the planning commission it may not take a position on a ballot measure pending before the voters. individual planning commissioners and city staff may support or oppose the measure on their own time using their own resources, but should not advocate a position during a public hearing on the item. as with the item today, commission may ask staff for information about the impact of the ballot measure on the city. city employees, lawfully use the resources to investigate and evaluate objectively the potential impacts of a ballot measure on city operations. i wanted to remind staff and the commission of these rules about a pending ballot measure. the secretary or i may interrupt if we feel that the
discussion is moving towards an advocacy tone as opposed to an objective tone. i ask for your consideration. thank you very much. >> i am here to introduce my colleagues at the mayor's office of housing. to give you a presentation on the content of the ballot measure. a little bit of an introduction. i spoke with you in the past about the city's need for housing in general. because we are an area of demand, because we are one of the region's primary sources of jobs, because we have the best nexus of transit in the region, san francisco is projected to grow greater.
i am very pleased to present an outline of the housing trust fund. what i am going to talk about is some of the context, some of the rationale for this work. the working group process we went through, it was a collaborative consensus building one. the funding structure, and talk about the components of the housing trust fund itself. what kinds of activities it will find it should it pass in november. new mexico provide a brief summary. -- and then provide a brief summary. i want to focus on the funding
landscapes. the gap in affordability that many san franciscans face. a quick snapshot of some trends. this first craft -- graph shows a downward trend in federal funds for affordable housing production. over the last three or four years, has been a significant decline in this funding support. even more dramatic is when you add the impact of the disillusion of redevelopment